Alexis Jay
Born Alexis Henderson Farmer Jay
25 April 1949 (age 67)
Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
Occupation Professor, social work leader

Alexis Henderson Farmer Jay (born 25 April 1949) is a British social worker and academic. She is a Visiting Professor at the University of Strathclyde and the Independent Chair of the Centre for Excellence for Looked After Children in Scotland (CELCIS).[1] Following the resignation of Justice Lowell Goddard, Home Secretary Amber Rudd announced on 11 August 2016 that Jay had been appointed to chair the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, of which she had previously been a Panel member.[2]

Professor Jay is a former senior social worker.[3] She was previously Chief Social Work Adviser to the Scottish Government.[4] and a former president of the Association of Directors of Social Work.[5]

Early life

She was born in Edinburgh. She studied Social Work at Moray House School of Education, now part of the University of Edinburgh.


In 2005 she took up the post of Chief Social Work Inspector at the Social Work Inspection Agency (SWIA), a government organisation scrutinising all aspects of social services provided by local authorities in Scotland.[6] She served as Chief Executive and Chief Social Work Inspector until the functions of SWIA and the Care Commission were taken over by the Care Inspectorate in 2011. She then remained as Chief Social Work Adviser to the Scottish Government until early 2013.

Expert role in independent inquiries

She led the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Rotherham, an investigation into child sexual abuse in the Metropolitan Borough of Rotherham in South Yorkshire.[4] She is the author of the investigation’s report, published in August 2014.[7]

In September 2014 she was appointed to act as an expert adviser to an
independent panel inquiry which was intended to examine how the UK’s
institutions have handled their duties to protect children from sexual
abuse.[8] Following the abandonment of the initial panel inquiry in favour of a statutory inquiry, she was re-appointed as an adviser to the subsequent Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse chaired by Dame Lowell Goddard. After Goddard resigned as Chair, it was announced on 11 August 2016 that Jay had been appointed to chair the Inquiry,[2]


She was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 2012.[1]


  1. ^ a b “2013 Archive: New Independent Chair for CELCIS”. University of Strathclyde. 9 July 2013. Retrieved 31 August 2014.
  2. ^ a b “New chairwoman of abuse inquiry named”, BBC News, 11 August 2016. Retrieved 11 August 2016
  3. ^ Andrew Bounds (August 26, 2014). “Rotherham leader stands down over child exploitation scandal”. Financial Times.
  4. ^ a b “Alexis Jay will lead child abuse failings probe at Rotherham”. BBC News. 1 November 2013. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
  5. ^ “Professor Alexis Jay OBE”. Royal Volunteer Service. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  6. ^ “Sixty Second Interview with Alexis Jay”. communitycare.co.uk. 7 April 2005. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
  7. ^ “Rotherham child abuse scandal: 1,400 children exploited, report finds”. BBC News. 26 August 2014. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
  8. ^ Garavelli, Dani (5 October 2014). “Alexis Jay hopes lessons are learned from Rotherham”. Scotland on Sunday. Retrieved 5 October 2014.

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